George Tiller, a doctor who performs late-term abortions in Kansas, was shot and killed as he walked into church this morning.
George Tiller, the Wichita doctor who became a national lightning rod in the debate over abortion, was shot to death this morning as he walked into church services.
Tiller, 67, was shot just after 10 a.m. at Reformation Lutheran Church at 7601 E. 13th, where he was a member of the congregation. Witnesses and a police source confirmed Tiller was the victim.
No information has been released about whether a suspect is in custody. Police said they are looking for white male who was driving a 1990s powder blue Ford Taurus with Kansas license plate 225 BAB.
This is a horrible crime and if the person who did it thought that he was aiding the pro-life movement, he was horribly wrong and deserves to be punished for his crime.
The Wichita Eagle reported this appropriate statement from Operation Rescue:
"We are shocked at this morning's disturbing news that Mr. Tiller was gunned down," anti-abortion group Operation Rescue said in a statement on its Web site. "Operation Rescue has worked for years through peaceful, legal means, and through the proper channels to see him brought to justice. We denounce vigilantism and the cowardly act that took place this morning. We pray for Mr. Tiller's family that they will find comfort and healing that can only be found in Jesus Christ."
Update! 4:41 PM The suspect is now in custody.
Statements from the Pro-Life movement condemning the murder:
Kansans for Life
"Kansans for Life deplores the murder of Dr. George Tiller, and we wish to express our deep and sincere sympathy to his family and friends.
Our organization has a board of directors, and a 35 year history of bringing citizens together to achieve thoughtful education and legislation on the life issues here in Kansas.
We value life, completely deplore violence, and are shocked and very upset by what happened in Wichita today."
--Mary Kay Culp, state executive director, Kansans for Life
Priests for Life
"I am saddened to hear of the killing of George Tiller this morning. At this point, we do not know the motives of this act, or who is behind it, whether an angry post-abortive man or woman, or a misguided activist, or an enemy within the abortion industry, or a political enemy frustrated with the way Tiller has escaped prosecution. We should not jump to conclusions or rush to judgment.
"But whatever the motives, we at Priests for Life continue to insist on a culture in which violence is never seen as the solution to any problem. Every life has to be protected, without regard to their age or views or actions."
--Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life
"We are shocked at this morning's disturbing news that Mr. Tiller was gunned down. Operation Rescue has worked for years through peaceful, legal means, and through the proper channels to see him brought to justice. We denounce vigilantism and the cowardly act that took place this morning. We pray for Mr. Tiller's family that they will find comfort and healing that can only be found in Jesus Christ."
Bishop Michael O. Jackels
"The Catholic community extends sympathy to the family of Dr. George Tiller, a victim of violent crime made even more heinous, if that is possible, by being committed in a church as he was preparing for worship.
"Many Catholics have over the years engaged in peaceful protest outside of Dr. Tiller's clinic, praying for an end to abortion, and especially late-term abortions; I have on occasion joined them for this purpose. This position and hope cannot however serve as a justification for committing other sins and crimes, like the willful destruction of property and, even worse, murder.
"It is my prayer that the Tiller family find consolation, that Dr. George Tiller find mercy and the fulfillment of the great hope of Christians, and that all will find peaceful and legal means to resolve differences."